Dubai Festival of Lights


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Who says Diwali is only celebrated across India? With many Indians around the world, Diwali is also celebrated in Dubai.

Also known as the festival of lights, Diwali is a celebration of good over evil. It is usually a four or five-day event with lots of dining, dancing, and music.

Dubai Festival of Lights
Festival highlights

About the Dubai lights

During the first day, it starts with purchasing brass, gold, or silver utensils. It is a day of shopping in the markets of Dubai for necessary materials, sweets, lights, and decorations. That’s why most markets in Dubai lights are jam-packed. Popular places to buy some stuff are Bur Dubai Souk, the Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates, Wafi Mall, and Deira City Centre. The first day is called Dhanteras. 

During the second day, commonly called Choti Diwali, people make all necessary arrangements. They usually make sweets, visit family and close friends, and share gifts. The houses and buildings are lit with some diyas, candles, and lights. 

The main event happens on day three. Believers dress up in their traditional Indian attire. Women wear sarees made of velvet, silk, chiffon, and crepe. On the other hand, men wear the classic yet contemporary dhoti and kurta. Young girls wear lehengas or decorated costumes. Boys can dress up in tee shirts and jeans. 

Dubai Lights

During the fourth day, known as Goverdhan Pooja, People of Indian descent cook a vegetarian meal. Then, they offer it to Lord Krishna. Langars are also held. It is where Hindus serve homemade vegetarian meals across the city. When looking for special menus, you can go to some Indian-themed restaurants. 

The fifth day, called Bhai Dooj, is considered the day for cousins and siblings. Usually, sisters offer something sweet to their brothers. 

fairy lights

Lights in Dubai Dates (2023)

In 2023, the lights in Dubai exhibition will be on November 12. On this day, expect a stunning firework display and a vast amount of food. There is also a wide array of events and promotions throughout the festival. 

Where It’s Located and How to Get There

Before, Indians only light their houses with candles during Diwali. Today, some people conduct a firework display that lasts for a few minutes or even an hour. For this year’s light exhibitions, it will be in different locations. But the organizer does not reveal any information on the location yet. We still have ample time to prepare for this amazing celebration.

Dubai Festival of Lights

If you liked this festival, you might want to check out these mesmerizing lights festivals as well:

Festival of Lights Sedona

Spanish Fork Festival of Light

Festival Hours 

The organizer also does not provide details on the festival hours yet. Since it is a light exhibition, it will surely happen in the evening. Let us hope it will last for an extended time for a more exciting light display experience. 

Cost to Visit the Festival 

Diwali in Dubai is grand, and it happens in some of the city’s iconic spots. In the previous years, the Dubai Festival City Mall, Global Village, and the Pointe joined the light exhibition. 

But is there an admission fee to witness Dubai’s light or fireworks display? Luckily, there is no ticket to buy. The event is free. All people are welcome to celebrate Diwali with others. But, bring cash to buy some snacks and beverages. Nothing is more exciting than watching the fireworks while eating some popcorn, right? 

Weather and What to Wear 

November is the best time to go to Dubai. Why is that? It’s because the weather in the city is good. Rainfall is uncommon. During this month, it is fun to be outdoors to get that suntan without the extreme heat of the summer. 

What to wear when you are in the city, though? Women can wear pants, dresses, jeans, shirts, tops, t-shirts, and skirts. 

Men can also wear jeans, shirts, shorts, t-shirts, and pants. Remember that some people in Dubai are conservative. So, be sure you do not wear something too revealing, especially for women. 

Where to Sleep near the Dubai Festival of Lights

Dubai is one of the top destinations across the world. Every year, the city receives millions of travelers from anywhere around the globe. More than the tourist destinations, Dubai is home to a variety of hotels, so finding the right accommodation will not be as hard as you imagine. But if you are a beginner, you will always end up confused with the range of choices. 

Backpacker Tina 

Despite the high demand from travelers, there are still some budget-friendly hotels to stay in, and Backpacker Tina comes to your rescue. Although its rate is affordable, everything about the hotel is great. It has all the facilities that every guest needs. After a tiring day of escapade in some parts of the city, Backpacker Tina has swimming pools where you can relax. If you gain a pound after a long holiday week, it has a gym where you can lose weight. 

Pearl Marina Hotel 

Another competitively priced accommodation is the Pear Marina Hotel. It is like a hotel apartment that you would definitely fall in love with. Every room is fully furnished and has the appliances you need. It is also designed with a kitchen where you can cook some of your favorite foods in Dubai. But if you have a busy schedule, Pearl Marina Hotel provides a delicious breakfast. 

Jannah Marina Bay Suites 

Are you willing to spend more on a hotel? If yes, Jannah Marina Bay Suites is a great choice. It has a Jacuzzi, a pool, and other facilities. All of these are not as expensive as you expect. Also, it has an impressive view of the sea. While you are working on some of your paper works, you would be inspired by the crystal-clear and blue sea. You could also hear the chirpings of the birds that can ease both your mind and soul. 

What to Eat – Restaurants Nearby

During the light festival in Dubai, people conduct langars. Here are a few of the most recommended restaurants in Dubai to visit during the festival: 


Expect a complete dining experience at Shamiana in Taj Jumeirah Lakes Towers, where it serves various delicacies for your family, colleagues, and closest friends. Apart from the food, there is a live Indian entertainment, especially during lunchtime. Also, there are special attractions to expect, including Mehendi sessions, kulfi-falooda stations, and Delhi-Mathura chaat. Plus, it provides entertaining and child-friendly activities for kids. 

Sikka Cafe 

For years, Sikka Cafe has been serving Persian, Emirati, Indian, and Arabic cuisines. During Diwali, the restaurant put these cuisines in a menu together, consisting of traditional dishes like samosa, aloo bonda, murukku, gulab jamun, sooji halwa, paneer tikka, and namakpare.

That’s not all! Sikka Cafe also provides delicious thali, including chicken curry, fried king fish, boondi raita, mutter paneer, aloo gobi, and dal makhani. 

Sikka Cafe offers some limited edition Diwali drinks like Mango lassi, Passionfruit masala spritz, and Sikka falooda. If you do not find what you want on the menu, do not be ashamed to ask the staff. 

Purani Dilli 

Another restaurant that participates in the festival of light in Dubai is Purani Dilli. During the annual event, it serves an all-you-can-eat selection of any Diwali meals, including Mutton Yakhni Pulao, Lehsuni Palak, Paneer Lababdar, and Murgh Handi. It serves Balu Shahi, Gajjar ka Halwa, Chum Chum, and other popular Indian desserts. Purani Dilli also offers a special package available from 7 pm to 12 am during the festival. You can go to its establishment to make a reservation, or you can visit its official website for further information. 

More Things to Do near Dubai Festival of Lights 

The festival of lights? Burj Khalifa? AI Fahidi quarter? Dubai Creek? Name it! Dubai has all the attractions every wanderer would appreciate! Here are the other things to do and explore if you are in Dubai: 

Burj Khalifa 

What comes to your mind when you think of Dubai? It is perhaps the Burj Khalifa. Standing around 829.8 meters, Burj Khalifa is the world’s tallest building. Completed in 2010, the building has already captured the attention of billions of people from across the globe. While some are satisfied by only taking pictures of the building, some never do the same thing. Take a trip to its observation deck instead. It is on a 124th floor, so be ready. 

Dubai Museum 

Learning history can be boring and may not sound fascinating for everyone. But when you go to Dubai Museum, it will change your mind. As you take a step into the museum, you will be fascinated by the old maps of Dubai and Emirates. 

Then, you will see the courtyard – a home to traditional boats. You can also find weaponry and some Emirati musical instruments on the right-hand and left-hand wall. 

But wait, there’s more! On the ground floor, you can experience the display halls with dioramas and exhibits showing the life of ancient people before. Plus, it features some artifacts from the graves at Al Quasis.


1. What are the parking options during the Dubai Festival of Lights (Diwali)?

Answer: Dubai offers multiple public parking spaces and garages, especially in popular areas like Downtown Dubai, Dubai Marina, and JBR. However, given the festival’s popularity, parking can get filled up quickly. Consider using public transportation such as the metro, taxis, or rideshare services.

2. Can I smoke during the Dubai Festival of Lights?

Answer: Smoking is not allowed in indoor public spaces in Dubai, including malls and restaurants. For outdoor events during the festival, designated smoking areas might be provided. Please always adhere to local guidelines and respect non-smoking zones.

3. Are pets allowed at the Dubai Festival of Lights?

Answer: Generally, pets are not allowed in many public areas, malls, or events in Dubai. If you’re considering bringing a pet to an outdoor event, it’s best to check with the specific event’s guidelines or organizers.

4. How long is the Dubai Festival of Lights (Diwali) celebrated?

Answer: Diwali is traditionally a five-day Hindu festival. In Dubai, festivities might extend over a weekend or specific dates, with special events, offers, and attractions in celebration of the festival.

5. Will there be food stalls during the festival?

Answer: Absolutely! During Diwali, many restaurants and food stalls offer festive specials, traditional Indian sweets, and dishes. Dubai’s diverse culinary scene ensures a wide range of options to enjoy.

6. Are there any items I shouldn’t bring to the festival?

Answer: It’s recommended not to bring large bags, alcohol (unless in licensed venues), drones, or any items that might be considered a security risk. Always respect local customs, dress modestly, and avoid public displays of affection.

7. Can I take photographs during the festival?

Answer: Yes, visitors are encouraged to capture the festival’s vibrancy and energy. However, always be respectful, avoid taking photos of people without their consent, and adhere to any photography restrictions in specific venues or events.

8. Are the festival venues and activities accessible for those with mobility challenges?

Answer: Most public spaces and event venues in Dubai are designed to be accessible to everyone. However, given the nature of some traditional events or crowded areas, it’s a good idea to check in advance if attending a specific activity or venue.


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